Why 600cc's is too much!

Honda CBR 1000rrHonda CBR 1000rrMost people are attracted to motorcycle riding not only because of the image it portrays, but also because of how the bike looks. Most modern motorcycles are beautifully engineered and beautiful to behold. Unfortunately it seems like the more athstetically pleasing a motorcycle is, the more CC's it has. When I first got the motorcycle bug, the one I dreamed about and saved up for was none other than the Honda CBR 1000RR!!!

Now THAT is a beautiful bike. Much like the North African spider monkey, that motorcycle is both beautiful, and deadly (in the wrong hands anyway). I'm not saying that as soon as you get on it you will die, and i'm also not saying that it is completely impossible to learn on that bike, but I AM saying that a bike with that much power behind it would be VERY hard to handle, especially if something unexpected happened like a child running acrossed the street.

Let me preface this guide by saying that Yes, i know of people that have learned to ride motorcycles that are 1000cc's and greater, but it is definitely not something i'm going to reccomend. Generally these riders progress much slower than someone who starts off on a smaller machine like the Kawasaki Ninja 250. This is usually because they have to spend a lot of their focus on not grabbing too much throttle, and not grabbing too much brake, and trying to keep such a heavy and long machine on 2 wheels, especially during slow speed manuvers. On a motorcycle like the ninja though even if you do grab a fist full of throttle and twist it is much easier to recover, and the changes of lifting the front wheel off the ground are much lower. The brakes on smaller machines are also much more forgiving, although they should still be used carefully, THEY STOP YOU FAST!

So far we can see that a 600cc or greater motorcycle is not the perfect beginner motorcycle because it is a machine built for the race track. Another reason to get a smaller bike at first is the cost. A brand new Suzuki GSX 600 can run you $9,000+, that is a lot of clams, especially if you end up dropping it the first week (I've seen it happen). The Ninja 250 on the other hand only costs around $3,000 brand spanking new!! So if you do end up dropping it, its not going to be nearly as expensive to fix/replace parts.


So basically 600 sports are bad for beginners because:

1) throttle
2) brakes
3) expensive

1) How hard is it to stay off the throttle? Geez. Keep your weight off the handlebars using legs and torso. Be gentle until muscle memory kicks in. Case closed.

2) Brakes. Practice hard stops every day until you get a feel for braking limits. Again, case closed.

3) Expensive. Who cares? Bikes are dirt cheap compared to cars. $9K? Meh. Find me a brand new car that cheap. The most expensive 600 sport is chump change compared to the cost of a lowly honda civic. If you're that concerned, get a used 600 that's already been dumped.

I can see the case against a 600 for an absolute newb who has never ridden. But even a few weeks of riding experience can be sufficient given a sensible rider with good coordination and athleticism.

1) Thats a lot of stuff to remember, especially when you make a mistake and you don't have time to think. Ok so a car just clipped you and that causes you to tense up and lurch back in the seat which makes you grip harder and twist the throttle more. Now not only are you off balance and off course, but you are accelerating and being pushed even farther back in the saddle. Assuming you don't slam into another object (car, curb, wall etc..) in the next 2 seconds, you then have to remember to get off the throttle, squeeze your knees together and grip the tank, make sure your upper body is loose, break hard with the front brake and rear brake, but not too much of either or else you will endo or the rear will start sliding, etc... That is a LOT to remember, especially for a new rider.

If you have a smaller displacement bike when you are lurched back in your seat even if you twist the throttle hard it is not going to send you off like a rocket to the moon, that gives you extra time to remember all those other things before you slam into an object.

2) The brakes on motorcycles are POWERFUL, and a good way to get used to them is to practice emergency stops in a parking lot. I feel like someone who isn't concerned too much with safety and just jumps into a 600-1000cc bike isn't going to go practice panic stops for 20 minutes a day until they have it down pat. Thats just my opinion though.

3) I guess this is just me, but i think $9,000 is a shit load of money!!! Thats bills and rent for me for nearly a year! Hopefully one day when I will be able to think 9,000 is chump change, but since most people who start riding motorcycles are in their late teens and early twenties, i'm going to assume they haven't settled into a career pulling in $100,000 a year yet. You could finance it if you want to and if you have the credit, but for me motorcycles are a luxury item and I try not to get in debt for 'luxuries'.

So conclusion: Is it impossible for a new rider to start on a 600cc? No it's not. I think riding a motorcycle is a lot like being a airplane pilot. I would much rather start in a single engine cessna if i were going to learn to fly instead of an F-16 that leaves little room for error.

Editor and Owner of BBM

Here is another updated article that might illustrate my points better:


Editor and Owner of BBM

Do you know how many mistakes I made in my first three weeks of riding? A lot. Do you know how many mistakes I made during the duration of my fourth week of riding? 12 Mis·take 1. an error in action, calculation, opinion, or judgment caused by poor reasoning, carelessness, insufficient knowledge, etc. 2. a misunderstanding or misconception. –verb (used with object) 3. to regard or identify wrongly as something or someone else: I mistook him for the mayor. 4. to understand, interpret, or evaluate wrongly; misunderstand; misinterpret. –verb (used without object) 5. to be in error. Question: Would I, with four weeks of riding experience under my belt and completion of the MSF course buy a 600cc bike? Answer: No thanks, i'll stick with my 500cc bike for now. Mistake: 1) Downshifted instead of upshifted 2) Misjudged my breaking space (Braked to soon) 3) Misjudged the time the light would stay green (Yellow lighted) 4) Misjudged the distance between me and the car in front of me (Counted 2 seconds between me and the car at the next utility pole) Although all those are miner, they count for something. It goes to show that I do need more practice on the road. I" can see the case against a 600 for an absolute newb who has never ridden. But even a few weeks of riding experience can be sufficient given a sensible rider with good coordination and athleticism." A guy at work used to ride, until he crashed his bike and got chopped up by barbed wire fencing. He was telling the group of smokers on their break how when he first got his 600cc bike he hit the highway and was going over 75. He then told us how he would take corners fast and this led to him ending up in a ditch laying on a barbed wire fence. Yeah, it's always awesome to give your bike away to the brother when you fuck up so bad you don't want to ride anymore. How he didn't get shredded to bits is beyond me. Lucky for tall grass I guess, but he now has scares from head to toe and story to tell. Good luck guy, but as far as im concerned I refuse to ride out of my league. I am 20 years old and have enough riding time to take over yours. Night ya'll, Kick

~Not your average hairless monkey

sounds like your "judgements" were basic drivers knowledge..you do that driving a car!! basic rules of the road!

The Squid speaks

Kinda like Ben Roethlisberger....i think he's got good athleticism...or so i've heard...i could be wrong....

1) Statistically, most motorcycle accidents are due to improper cornering or braking, not uncontrolled acceleration. Every noob sportbike accident I've heard of is from intentional *sustained* high speed or improper response to a surprise obstacle.

You've seen the noob SS riders. They ride way beyond their ability. Its not their fine throttle control that gets them killed, its their judgment. I will stand by my assertion that unintentional acceleration is not what kills noob SS riders. It never was and never will be. Find me one fatality caused by unintentional throttle and I'll find you HUNDREDS caused by bad cornering, INTENTIONAL excessive speed, or improper braking.

2) Ah-ha! You admit that its possible to learn proper braking on a SS via practice. But its the judgment, the attitude of the rider that hinders that, not the bike.

3) I never said $9k was chump change in isolation. I said it was chump change compared to a honda civic or cars in general. But the money argument holds no water. Who cares how someone spends their money? Some people spend thousands of dollars on antiques. Not my cup of tea, but not my business either. Let people spend their money (however foolishly) they want.

Your pilot example is interesting. More pilots die in cessnas than any other airplane. If I had the MONEY, I'd rather learn how to fly in a bigger, larger airplane, not a cessna. (I'm assuming by cessna, you're referring to the cessna 120/140 single seater, "trainer" airplane)

Finally the F-16 vs cessna comparison is not a good analogy simply because the difference in performance between a cessna and F-16 is far, far greater than between a starter bike and a SS. A SS has about 2x the HP and roughly 50% more torque and maybe 40% more top speed than a ninja 500. A cessna has 90hp and has a max speed of around 110mph. An F-16? 1500mph! Thats over 10x faster than a cessna. It has 27,000 lbs of thrust, which depending on speed can produce up wards of 40,000+ HP!

Last time I checked, a typical SS with a top speed of 170mph does not go 10x faster than even a little ninja 250 that tops at 110mph. An F-16 can't even fly at the max speed of a cessna (120mph)...its too slow and the engines would stall. What makes the F-16 a dangerous "starter" plane is the fact it is incapable of the slow speeds of a cessna. It only knows near supersonic speeds. A SS is perfectly capable and comfortable at the same slow speeds and mild acceleration of a starter bike.

"Find me one fatality caused by unintentional throttle and I'll find you HUNDREDS caused by bad cornering, INTENTIONAL excessive speed, or improper braking."

I don't have the statistics in front of me, but it sounds reasonable that bikes crash MORE in the corners than from uncontrolled acceleration. Lets jump to the airplane analogy really quick, you said that an f-16 is incapable of flying as slow as the fastest cessna. I still think that my previous argument holds up even if it is not a perfect analogy. I learned on 250cc's at MSF and my first bike was a GS500. The GS500 was really great just crusing around at around 25-50mph. That was its IDEAL and most comfortable speeds. Could it get up to 90mph+? Sure, but it wasn't comfortable anymore.

When I later rode an F4i and now my current ZX6R I find that I am most comfortable at around 60-85mph. I can still ride at the lower speeds (and I usually do when spending my time in the twisties), but I would say that the higher speeds are much more comfortable for me.

So would it be advisable to start on a motorcycle that makes you more inclined to drive slower, or one that makes you want to drive faster?

One quick note, I don't have any statistics and this is just a guess, but I think the reason that the majority of pilots die in small Cessnas is because they are newer pilots with lack of experience! Chances are by the time you get to fly a large commercial airplane or a fighter jet you have seen thousands of hours in a cockpit and are therefore much more experienced than someone that only takes their cessna out every weekend! That is a complete guess and I could definitely be wrong even though it seems logical enough to me.

The bottom line for me is although you CAN learn to ride on a 600cc, I don't recommend it and I think it would make it harder for you to learn the basic riding skills. Without a strong foundation you are more likely to crash, period. Hell I even know a guy that learned to ride on an r1 and he is still riding today! The funny thing is he HATES turning or corning on his bike, he only likes the straights. That may just be his cup of tea, but any monkey can twist the throttle and go fast in a straight line, but it takes skill to go fast in the corners. I regularly hear about people on 250's and 500cc's that smoke the 600's and liter bikes in the twisties because they have such a good foundation and they aren't scared that a slight twist in the throttle will send em into the bushes.

I can see you are definitely a knowledgable rider even if we don't see eye to eye on this. I hope you stick around and join in on some of the forums when they are released later this month :)

Editor and Owner of BBM

I think you are most comfortable at 60-85 now because you are a much better rider now than you were before on your GS500.

I agree that a SS tempts you to go faster because...well it can. Perhaps its true that such temptation is beyond the capacity of most mortal 20 year-olds. But its a temptation nonetheless that must be acted upon. Its not a given.

We're straying off the topic with the cessna analogy (but its so fun to debate!). Pilots die in cessnas because small cessnas are extremely susceptible to turbulence. They also have minimal instruments and sensors. Ever hear that 747s can practically fly themselves?

In the end, I don't disagree that SS are bad beginner bikes! What I disagree with are the cited reasons as to why they're bad. I disagree with the notion that a lower displacement bike somehow magically keeps a rider from crashing. I disagree with the notion that accidental throttle are the main causes of crash/injury/death to noob SS riders. And I disagree with the absurd idea that a SS throttle is soooo impossible to master it takes years of riding a 250(with no throttle sensitivity) to master it.

A SS is a bad bike beginner bike because precisely the opposite of what you and others assert - instead of being difficult and unforgiving, on the contrary, its a dangerous beginner bike because its so EASY to ride. Its so EASY to attain high speeds and so EASY to corner that the noob is lulled into a false sense of security and power. It is overconfidence amplified and encouraged by the excellent performance of the SS that is the number 1 cause of accident and death to noob SS riders.

I think that you are right, and I am right :) It's definitely a combination of the two, and I think a lot of crashes happen when riders do become overconfident. I haven't really thought about it in the way you suggested, but I really agree with where you are coming from now, although I do believe that a sensitive throttle and powerful brakes do add to the crash equation. :)


Editor and Owner of BBM

I agree, we're both right. And after analyzing it more, I realize WHY we're both right.

There are very, very different kinds of newbie riders, and they range from the very uncoordinated, timid beginner to the extremely athletic, gifted and bold rider. From the infinite variations between these, the reasons why the SS is bad for these riders varies between your arguments and mine.

For the uncoordinated, the SS is bad because of the powerful and sensitive throttle and braking. For the athletic types, the SS is bad because it lulls them into thinking they've already reached the pinnacle of motorcycle abilities. Somewhere in between is the perfect mix of caution and athleticism that makes them ideal candidates to start on a 600. I don't think this is necessarily a rare mix, but I do agree nearly EVERYONE thinks they fall in that perfect category.

FYI, I started on a ninja 250 and rode for a few months and then upgraded to an R6. I distinctly remember how much EASIER the R6 was to ride than the 250. The clutch was smoother and the slipper clutch allowed for easier downshifts. It felt more stable in the corners and it was far more stable on the freeway. Everything about the R6 responded to my inputs, unlike the 250, whose clutch, suspension braking and throttle response was just not quite as smooth, not quite as responsive (other than flickability).

And do you want to know what thought began to creep slowly into my mind? That I was invincible. The bike + me = power. And once I recognized that, I realized why this bike was more dangerous than my 250. Not directly because of its performance, but the corrupting effect that performance was starting to exert on my sense of caution and safety. But once I recognized it, I could begin to control it and mitigate its effects.

I'm a beginner and here are my exact reasons why I'm going to start on a 250 or 500.

1) Cost. I'm just starting out and have no idea if this will be a longterm thing or just a few years of fun. I don't want to invest heavily till I know. I also want to buy some good comfortable riding gear.

2) The corupting forces of power... I know how I drive a car. At first, I don't want the capability to go 120mph on a whim. I'm not worried about unintended throttle use ... I'm worried about the intentional over use.

3) Post upgrade.... I'm a pack rat and like to get friends into my hobies. I could easily see myself keeping around a 250 or 500 as a second bike after upgrading to a Flat Twin BMW R bike.

It's awesome that you know your weaknesses and you make choices to avoid letting them take control. I think it's much more fun to ride a slow bike fast than to ride a fast bike slow :)

I would recommend replacing the stock ninja 250 tires ASAP with some better racing tires. It will make you much more confident in the turns.


Editor and Owner of BBM

im a beginner n im trying learn how to ride a bike. im planning to buy one but i dont know whats the right one to get, the 250cc or 600cc? i know that 250cc is the best bikes for beginners but sooner or later you want to upgrade to a stronger bikes,so you think that getting the 250cc now then get the 600cc later on is better rather than use the money to get the 600cc right away?

Hey genius, you say that most problems are due to improper cornering? Tell me if it's easier to take a corner on a 250 or a 900. I think that most people will agree that it's easier to corner on a 250. Case closed.

All Air Force pilots start off flying a T-6 Texan II and then move to a T-38 before finally graduating to an F-16. The analogy is not comparing performance line for line, that's why it's an analogy. The point is, a pilot can start in an F-16 but by starting in something slower and working his way up, he can be comfortable with all the complexities of flight by the time he graduates to the F-16. The reason the analogy uses a Cessna is because most people reading this will not know what a T-6 Texan II is. Anyways, much the same with a motorcycle, riding on something smaller allows the rider to become more comfortable with the complexities of motorcycle riding before he moves on to something more powerful. It would also make sense that the Cessna kills more pilots than any other aircraft because it is one of the best selling aircrafts in the world and has trained civil aviation pilots more so than any other entry-level aircraft. The more there are in the air, the more the possibility of something going wrong increases. Maybe a better analogy would be a Cessna compared to an Extra 300s. Again, most people wouldn't know what an Extra 300s is though.

ive been lookin at all kinds of bikes for the past like month , ive been staying up till the crack of dawn doin research on the ideal bike for beginners, i think im obssesed or maybe jus passionate but anyways, ive been lookin at the r6S for a first bike. i have some experiance (2-3 years Minibikes, and 1 yr on a minichopper) just basics. also im am deff. planning on taking the saftey course in the near future. im 20yrs old 6'0 160lbs and the lower cc bikes look like toys when i sit on them, would it be convenient for me with the r6S?

It sounds like you have already made your decision, you are just looking for someone to give you the 'ok'. Minibikes are a lot different than full sized motorcycles. They are heavier, more powerful, and can stop on a dime. I honestly wouldn't recommend a 600cc sportsbike for someone with your experience, but it is your choice. Basically you should ask yourself if you want to ride a motorcycle for looks, or if you want to be a great rider. If all you care about is what people think of you then you should get the r6. You will most likely be gunning it in the straights and breaking hard in the turns like most newbies on 600cc bikes. If on the other hand you want to be a great rider than I would definitely suggest a 250cc or a 500cc sportsbike. I recently just talked to a friend who went to his first track day last week. He started on a Suzuki GZ250 for about a year and a half and had been riding a Yamaha Seca II as his second bike. The Seca II is an ugly looking and relatively slow sportsbike compared to modern supersports. At track days there are 3 groups: C = The slowest B = Faster A = The fastest Since it was my friends first trackday he started in the C group with his old little Seca. The funny thing is he was so fast that the people running the trackday stopped him and suggested he moved to B group! That is practically unheard of when riding your very first day at the track. The number one reason he was so fast is because he started on a 250cc bike, and because of that he learned to carry his speed through the turns instead of smashing on the break before the turn, and then accelerating out of the turn like you can with a 600cc bike. My friend was passing CBR's, R6's, and even some 1000cc sportsbikes with his underpowered seca. The question is, what type of rider do you want to be. Once you answer that you will know what bike you should buy. ~Best Beginner Motorcycles Admin

Editor and Owner of BBM

lol yea maybe your right , im kinda hard headed when it comes to certain things like this. actually to tell u the truth i did have my mind set on the R6Sport but on the real......this forum prolly jus saved my again a BIG thank you to who ever runs this site! also what would be an ideal and at least semi attractive : ) bike for a person of my height , ill work with ya on the part where i take ur advise and get a lower cc bike cuz i do wanna become a better rider over better looking.i dream of those twisties i see on youtube and the curves on the track ,leanin like that WHHEEWWWW !!!. if ya show me a nice lookin lower cc bike ill be more than happy to go out and start my search... : D

I actually wrote an article a month or two ago about beginner bikes that don't LOOK like beginner bikes. You can check it out here: http://www.bestbeginnermotorcycles.com/beginner-motorcycles-dont-look-be... I think that the GS500F looks pretty damn close to a suzuki GSXR. Also one bike that isn't included in the list is the new 2008 kawasaki ninja 250 which looks FANTASTIC! I already have a ZX6R and I am actually planning on buying one of the new ninja 250's and turning it into a racebike because it looks so badass.
~Best Beginner Motorcycles Admin

Editor and Owner of BBM

what size engine would u suggest for a rider like myself, im gonna be using it for about 1 hour highway trips and just to work and back .....is it possible to jus start on a 500cc effectively?

Yes you can start on a 500cc motorcycle although it is going to be harder than starting on a 250. I personally started on a 500cc motorcycle, a 2002 GS500, but if I had to do it again I would probably go with a 250 instead. If you are going to be mostly using the motorcycle for highway riding then I would suggest going with the larger 500cc bike, probably the Kawasaki Ninja500. It will give you enough power to get out of danger at high speeds and since it is heavier than the ninja 250 you won't be blown around as much on the freeway. Ben ~Best Beginner Motorcycles Admin

Editor and Owner of BBM

those new ninja 250's are very nice tho i wouldnt mind having one of those !!

whats the difference between an R6 and an R6S ?

the difference between the 2006+ R6 and 2006+ R6S is that the R6S is the R6 from 2003-2005. they just kept the old one around because its a little more street friendly then the 2006+ R6. if you googled R6S u will come across a couple of articles explaining the R6S.

what is the difference between the R6 and R6S. and also i have been told to look for a zzr 600 , people keep tellin me that this is a good starter bike that and the R6S , are these good bikes to start out with ?

I for many years now have wanted to get into riding a sport bike. throughout my years i have fallen in love with the R6 for my first bike. I have very limited experience on street bikes, only riding the kawasaki Ninja 500 which belonged to a friend of mine. I have been riding dirt bikes since i could remember, my experience being on both two strokes and four strokes. I did race a little when i was younger but found my love for fmx alot greater. I am moving to Hawaii and am finally looking into purchasing a bike. I am looking into used R6's due mainly to the fact that if and when i do drop the bike or whatever I dont ruin a brand new bike. The few times i rode the Ninja 500 on the road i was very cautious, almost on the verge of being nervous. I definately stayed at or below the speed limit, and took corners with extreme caution. I am great at throttle and brake control on a dirt bike, but have heard that the bigger sport bikes such as the R6 have little comparision on control than to a dirt bike. I was wondering if some of the more experienced street riders could help me out, give me advice. Would it be wise to start out on a used R6? I am in the military so the saftey course is mandatory. It would be greatly appreciated.

Go to Hawai'i and buy a ex500. That way when it gets stolen you won't be out 10/15grand. Hawaii's bike theft rate is huge because of all the mopeds and street bikes. If you feared riding a ninja500 then you should steer way clear of the R6. The ninja is nothing to fear and is a very very forgiving bike. The difference between dirt and street is like comparing water and ice. Experience doesn't carry over. Thats not how it works. Driving under the speed limit is bad and will get you hurt. Unless of course their is strong traffic. If you fear your bike, you will kill you. If you have faith in your bike you have riding skills. In Hawai'i you have a lot more hazards then your average drive. Every road known is pretty much on the water which means that the road is cut from the mountains. Which means that you have large walls of rock that fall from the sides. Which means you have a lot more road hazards. Get it? Start slow and you will be fine. Go tearing through the twisties in Hawai'i and a tourist will go home with a good story. Former Hawai'i resident who had his moped stolen. ~Not your average hairless monkey Kick

~Not your average hairless monkey

driving under the speed limit is bad???? i dont know about where you live im guessing 99% of the roads in america are streight but here in the uk we have twisties everywhere hell even my drive has them so to do what is over here 60mph on some national speed limit roads would be nearly insane, basicaly they label everyroad without a house and as long as it is in the country a 60mph road. so basicaly what your saying stay at 60 or go faster through roads what could be about ten yards long with a u bend or a DEAD end at the end of it?????

Uhh holy hell what is wrong with you? ~Not your average hairless monkey Kick

~Not your average hairless monkey

i thnk its entirely upon the person to decide on which bike he/she decides to learn on, i believe true rideing skill comes from experiance not going up in classes as, i may be worng but you dont want to start throwing a bigger bike around like you do a 125cc.... however i would say lads or should i say children what go round in old banged up cars with lexus lights and plastic bits added to their cars are becomeing more and more common and i think this is in a was transposing to the bikeing world, hence their are more fatalitys by these"chaves" what gives the good honest carefull rider a bad name and i belive that this contributes to the fact of people saying start small..... also imagine this for a second..... may be a poor comparison but what the hell...... if you could afford it do you buy clothes like charity shop clothes or designer..... or if you were interested in say what we call football i think you call it soccor do you buy a rubber football to use rather than leather or whatever their made of now.... or if you buy a "bondage basement" for your house do you go for the standard cell look or the full ball splitting kit....... even with mobile phones nowadays your not gona go out and buy a 3510i you will get an apple ect its their but i can guarentee you you will not use 100% of it all of the time..... so why not have a bigger bike??? you dont have to use it all of the time or even red line it at all.......

Its not so much the Ninja500, but more of the traffic, getting used to being on the road instead of a track that i was nervous about. The first thing i said to my friend was that the ninja felt alot like my dirt bike. I did not fear the bike; in my experience if you fear a bike than you wont be as good of a rider. Rather you should respect the bike, and fear the hazzards and traffic, all those idiots out there who are not paying attention. I intend on getting all the gear, from the boots to a spine protector, and i want to be a great rider. I do intend on practicing in a vancant lot before hitting the busy roads. I do not want to get a bike because its the cool thing to do, i enjoy the freedom of riding, and mix that with the need for transportation you have a sport bike. My only problem, and this is also possibly a fault, is that i dont really like the looks of the lower class bikes, i am definately looking into lower class bikes now from reading all the forums, but still have the R6 in the back of my thoughts. I have also thought of getting an enduro, this way i can still ride the trails out in Hawaii, but stil have a way to get to work in the morning. I appreciate your help. And i agree that sometimes it can be dangerous to go under the speed limit, espically if you have some impatient asshole trying to fly around you. I would really appreciate more info regarding Hawaii if you could. my email is metal_mulisha_prizide@hotmail.com and once again thank you for all the help.

hi all...this thread is very informative. question: I just finished the MSF class and got a license. I was looking at a ninja 650r. Though im not rich, i didnt want to start on a used bike...that is out of warranty and someone else "learned" on. (stripped gears, worn clutches, ect ect). We learned on a 500cc bike and i was wondering what folks input is!! THANKS

Not sure you read the whole thing, but it's often repeated - in several forums - if you are a beginner, don't go above 500cc. Ninja 650r is badass. Stick with the 500 or 250 for a year, and then upgrade. if you aren't rich, then why go for 650? 250 and 500s are a lot cheaper.

i have been riding for a little over a year now. i bought a used yamaha maxim 400. my buddy and i fixed it up. its great to ride! a great learning bike. i am now looking to give this bike to my brother, he needs the transportation. my question is what bike to get now? i am 6'1 and weigh 220 pounds. the 400 is a little small for my frame. if i were to get a sport bike what would you recommend. i have ridden 600 and above and feel confident, however i am looking for cheap. what is the best price yet has the size that will accommadate my frame? thanks!

How cheap are we talking? Like $1,500? or like $3,000? Ben ~Best Beginner Motorcycles Admin

Editor and Owner of BBM

hey. thanks for responding quickly. 3500 or less would be great - i could go more but this price range would be perfect. i definitly want a used bike.

I would check out a 2003 or newer Suzuki SV650, those are pretty tall bikes. Or maybe the Yamaha FZ6 or Suzuki V-Strom 650 (or 1000). The V-strom is an 'interesting' looking bike, but really caters to taller riders. You might also consider a bike like the Honda f4i and get some rear-sets for it to move the pegs back a bit for comfort. Thats all I got, but I'm sure there are others out there that would fit the bill, just check your local craigslist! Ben ~Best Beginner Motorcycles Admin

Editor and Owner of BBM

I appreciate the info. Your site is amazing! Tons of helpful things on here. I will see what i can come up with. Thanks again!

The main reasons I've observed in wrecks are: obstructions (cars, pedestrians, etc.) and the inability to stop or evade. Excessive rear braking is the biggest reason; you can just follow that wiggly black stripe right to the impact point. Faster speeds and bigger bikes just add to the problem. Go to a Motorcycle Safety School. What you learn is incredible, and you might get an idea what size bike you want to start on. In my class half of the students already had a motorcycle license, but none felt the class was a waste of time.

I learned to ride at a Basic Riders course and passed. I loved learning to ride and we learn on Honda 250cc. I was thinking of getting my sister-in-laws 250 that she has as a beginner but I was told that it really lugged down on hills with two people. I know the two people that she was refering to and their total weight is only 20 lbs give or take more than myself. I am 6ft tall and nearly 300 lbs myself. I was thinking that I should go up to the 600cc range but no more. I guess I am asking if this is ok thinking or would you suggest a much smaller bike for me even though I am a big guy.

The 250cc should be able to take you around without too much effort, but if you are really worried about it then maybe go for a vulcan 500, gs500, or ninja 500. Ben ~Best Beginner Motorcycles Admin

Editor and Owner of BBM

So I am looking at getting myself a bike. I will be taking the MSF course in about a week. Originally I was thinking about getting something with at least 500cc and no more than 650cc. After looking at prices I convinced myself to get a 250cc bike. I was talking to my boss at work and he said I would want something with more power he suggested the SV650, because he has one himself and that was his first bike. I have also been looking at a Ninja 650R and was wondering if that is comparable with the SV650? Or are both not right for a beginner? I am 6' 3'' so I think a 250cc would be a little awkward to ride on due to my height. Any input would be great thanks.

The new Ninja 250 is a great bike, and really roomy in general. I feel less cramped on the 08 ninja 250 than I do on my 2001 ZX6R! I've known people who started on the sv650 and they say it is a good beginner bike, and I agree with them as long as the rider is confident and careful with all that extra weight and power. Is it going to be more difficult to ride than a 250? Yes, I even had a little trouble with my first bike which was a gs500. If you take the MSF course though you should be good. Side note.... I really don't get why people are so set on getting one motorcycle that will last them for decades. I've been riding only a couple years and I've owned 5 different bikes. Gs500, honda f4i, honda f2, gpz 900, zx6r etc... With my first bike I bought it for $1700 (or was it 1800?) and I ended up selling it later for $2400! Smaller displacement bikes are always in demand and hold resale value really well. My methodology has always been to buy something cheaper first, and then once I figure out what I like or dislike then for the next purchase I will know what i'm doing. End side note. Either the sv650 or the ninja 250 or the ninja 650 would be good beginner bikes, but most likely after a year or so you are going to want to change bikes anyway just to try something new. You aren't marrying the motorcycle, you are just using it for a period of time until you want to sell it and get a new bike :) Ben ~Best Beginner Motorcycles Admin

Editor and Owner of BBM

Your right I am not going to marry the bike so I could kick it to the curb whenever I would like to get a new bike. I like what you said in the side note. I just might go with something used and probably something alittle older so it will be cheaper and then from there think about getting something else. Thanks for the info.

Hi, I intend on making my decision on a bike this week, but am reading this and getting a little concerned! I thought I'd ask for your opinion. I am around 5'3/5'4, and learnt on a 500cc. Prior to that I rode a scooter for years (long before) which went to about 110Km/h. The speed doesn't worry me too much, after all I am in control, right? And I have enough experience of Merc driving idiots to know they are my main concern! My first thought was to head straight for the usual sports bikes, as they were what I spent most time as a pillion on. I thought better of a SS, as I would like to learn to ride one without killing myself in the first bend! I intend to use the bike on motorways quite a bit, and then your average days out thing. I am leaning towards the SV650Sport, due to height, weight and looks. I've been advised this is a great first big bike, and read reviews that say much the same. I don't really want to be swapping and changing due to boredom, but I guess that is what my question is: What bikes would you recommend for a short, new to big bikes, lady rider?

i am a self-proclaimed noob. started getting interested in bikes lately due to gas prices. i admit, i've always wanted one because they look cool. But never got one due to money and the inherent danger of riding. with that said, i think i am self-disciplined enough to respect a machine, although, I don't want to start with something too strong. have ridden scooters (don't laugh) comfortably. although my main purpose for getting a bike is economic, I also don't want to be laughed at on the road. i also wouldn't want to pull up to an intersection next to a good-looking chick on a more powerful bike. (florida has lots). anyways, i know it's ideal to start on a 250cc, is it REALLY that dangersous to start 500cc? I love life as much as the next guy, so i don't want to lose mine. but i do want to live it to the fullest with a decent good-looking, and non-embarrassing bike. any thoughts for a noob? ps: what would be a good bike for me i'm leaning honda just bc i hear they are cheaper for parts and labor should it need to get fixed. 5'6 160 lbs

I started on a 2002 GS500 and it was a great first bike. Ben ~Best Beginner Motorcycles Admin

Editor and Owner of BBM

hey let me ask you something. what do you think about the honda 599. i like the more upright sitting position and the "naked" look. based on that, are there any other bikes you might recommend that look similar and are relatively easy to handle for noobs? also, where would be a good source to search for good deals on bikes? thanks for your help, man.

hey ben, my mate just got a cbr 250 (one i am thinking of also getting) and sais he regrets not getting the full "rr" version. now come on, asside from riding height, there isnt anything else different engine wise is there?? would there be any reason to lean toward the "rr"?? (for a beginner)

yes that is a rocket in my pocket..

i am a new b to the whole street bike world and i bought my self a CBR 600rr. I read all the reviews, talked to literally hundreds of people and spent many hours contemplating what bike. should i start out on the lower cc bikes like the ninja500, or go with the bigger brothers. I have had no regrets with my decision, in fact i absolutely love the bike. I did the MSF course on the bike and all the rider coaches said i did amazing. I have had no problems with corners, or throttle or brake control. I feel so comfortable and natural on the bike. In two and a half weeks i put nearly 1500 miles on the bike. I have had several close encounters with vehicles and my skills learned in the saftey course probably saved me and my bike, so far my baby is the same as when i bought her. I have friends who have the same bike, and with under twenty miles have allready dropped it more than once. Im not trying to brag, what im tryin to say is that not everyone is the same. I think that starting out on a smaller bike for some is a great idea, but for those of you who really feel like you would be disappointed on a smaller bike, you might just be right. I drove a Kawasaki Ninja500 for a few months and was disappointed with it. I dont not disagree with ben, and what he is doing on this website is awesome, but to say that everyone start out on a 500 or something like that is not so true. All you have to do is get comfortable with the bike learn its limits, and then your limits. Sit out in parking lots and practice turns, stops, everything and really work your bike. Whats the difference of perfecting your skills on a small bike as opposed with a bigger one. I think that as long as you ride safe and smart, and really learn you and your bikes limits than there is nothing wrong with getting an rr as your first bike. does anyone share the same opinion?

...when you could learn to ride on a 600. I am a prime example. That day is long gone.

I learned on a lightly used 1988 Kawasaki Ninja 600R. It was not my first choice. I wanted a ZX-7, but I couldn't afford it. Frankly, I'm glad as it was the perfect balance of small size, sporty looks, POWER, and price.

Let me put that bike into perspective with the current crop of SS class bikes.

To start with, the '88 Ninja 600 weighed 456 pounds. By today's standards, that was a behemoth! For comparison, the average SS weighs about 370lbs.

Additionally, the '88 Ninja 600 only(!) made around 66 HP and 35 lbs/ft, whereas the current average is twice that!

So today's 600cc sportbike averages 120lbs lighter and makes twice as much power as did the earlier sportbikes. That's a winning formula for racing, but we're not racing whilst learning to ride, are we?

It wasn't long after learning to ride, maybe six months, that I was longing for more power, BUT...I could ALWAYS smoke my buddies on their GSXR 750s and 1100s in the twisties.

The Suzuki GS500, and the Kawasaki Ninja (EX) 500 remain largely unchanged since the days when I learned to ride. In the absence of what I consider to have been the perfect first bike for someone longing for a SS bike, I would reccommend either one to a new rider as an excellent starting point. Especially if you aren't in a position to buy another bike once you've become a competent rider, as they will still be fun to ride years down the road.

Thank you for allowing me to babble aimlessly.

okay here it is.. im 5'2 and weigh about 110lbs.. i am not a beginner .. i have rode everything from a minie bike to a suziki gs 450cc.. and a honda rebel 250cc . i sold the rebel and no longer have the 450cc.. i am looking at a honda shadow 600cc.. my feet are firm on the ground and had no problem sitting upright on it.. its wasnt running so i couldnt take it for a ride.. my brother feels that the shadow is too heavy for me.. he is thinking about if it should go down and if i would be able to pick it back up on my own.. he says to look at a 500.. shadow or virago.. what are your thoughts.. is there a huge difference in weight between a shadow and a virago (500 ,600 )

the 600 shadow is way slow

I concur with starting with a smaller bike, but think that a 250 is too small depending on your final intended purpose.
Why spend $3000 on a new bike that you will struggle with on the freeway?

A 250 is fine to take the MSF Course with (I took mine with a Rebel) but IMO not so good for everyday use because you will want to upgrade it quicly. On the other hand, a Ninja 650 is probably overkill for a beginner.
Perhaps something in between?

If you can't control the throttle -- have a weakness for speed -- or like to show off -- it doesn't matter what you get - you will get in an accident. Do yourself a favor, stick to a car and install a 4pt roll cage.

Good article btw.


Just read a post closer to the top of the page about some bloke throwing the word "statistically" around as if he him self did any research on the matter of too much throttle input being a large contributing factor to fatal motorcycle accidents. To you sir I say "dumbass". I hope I never have the misfortune to be riding near you. You seem childish and cocky and your attitude stinks. Not that you would care because you're too busy being the master rider that all motorcyclists envy and strive to be like because you have never yet put your self into a lamp post due to over throttling (wait, it'll happen). I'd like to share a story about a child hood friend I grew up with. He had another friend who's father owned the local kawasaki dealership in my town so between friends the father allowed my child hood friend to borrow a 600 for the weekend while his parents were on vacation. Long story short, he panicked making a turn and opened up the throttle and threw himself head first into an electrical box on the side of the street killing himself instantly. That's what too much power and too little experience result in sometimes and it's a shame because dorks like you continue to portray small CC bikes in a negative light and make new riders feel ashamed so they end up making terrible mistakes on race bikes that they have little to no chance handling properly in an emergency. So why don't you take your "statistics" and show them to my friends parents that had to come back mid way through their vacation because the police called them to tell them their son was dead. What a tool.

Hi All, I too have gotten the bug to ride, I;m a new rider with an eye on the Harley Nightster 1200CC- I know what you're going to say -dont do it- The sales guy at Harley tells me that it's a fine first bike and suggested I go past the 833CC sportster at the same price. (I'm in sales so I know the pitch) Other Harley guys have also said that the exceleration on a harley is not like a crotch rocket and more easily handled off the start and on the road. I'm not looking to tear up the road, just ride easy and chill.

OK now you can yell at me.

I personally think you would be fine..given the fact that you understand you riding ability and limits and dont push them till you get up experience. I myself recently bought a fjr1300..I have been away from riding for almost 20yrs...prior to that have alot of dirt bike riding experience..so had the "basic" bike handling down..but know it is different that hwy driving. Take a MSF course and show it some respect and you will be fine...

I felt ok going with the fjr..as im 6'1..245lbs and the bike weight doesnt bother me

Good luck

I am writing for advice on purchasing a bike. I am 6' 220 and my wife is 6'1" 160. Ultimately I will upgrade in engine size and all that but I haven't decided what we'll be purchasing first. Our range is from 250-650. I also want something we can BOTH ride on. I have read about weight limits and what a bike can handle. This also has been taken into consideration. Any advice out there. Keep in mind neither of us are riders. Not yet anyway. Thanks for the assistance.

My wife and I recently purchased an FJR1300(for me)..im 6'1 245lbs...and she got a ninja 650r..she is 5'9..long leg..sat on it and was flat footed and weight was ok with her.. we too wanted bikes that we both could ride..the 650 that is..the frj is too big for her.. I sat on the ninja 250 and it was way too small..my knees were up to my chest!!! felt uncomfortable small...I think with your wife's height..the 650 or 600 would be fine..just know limits and respect it...

seems theres so much talk in these forums about "speed"..remember theres speed limits and just because a bike or car will do it..thats a big cause of accidents!!

have fun

hey uh i just really wanted to discuss what beginner bike i should get... Now dont get started on me and yell and say i didnt read a single word of this article but infact i have read almost every article about beginner riders there is.... anyways i was thinking of getting the yamaha r6 as my first bike because the ninja 250r just feels a bit too small with me.... when i sit on it, my elbows stick out like a chicken's wing (bad analogy but your gonna have to work with me here)... oh and im 5'6 and 140 lbs... i was thinking of getting the r6 because the 250r will make me overconfident when i switch to a larger bike and i certainly know that that will come back to haunt me... what do you guys think? .... oh and by the way, im very well coordinated, i am atlehtic (i wrestle for my highschool) and have a fair amount of balance... what do you guys think i should get?


yeah i read the article and i am clearly the idiot who just doesnt get it... could you pretty please explain why i shouldnt get one?

I believe the point is there is plenty of supporting evidence for not getting a bike that size for your first bike on the site, but you haven't yet taken the time to read any of those articles. Instead you jump straight to asking. I just found this site two days ago and have already spent 3-4 hours reading countless articles only then did I pose a question. Then again maybe I'm misinterpreting the other replies to your post.


1. Knowledge of Subject Matter
Have you taken a MSF class or some other motorcycle class? Do you know what you need to know, and more importantly do you know what you don't know?

2. The Learning Curve
While learning to do something, you make mistakes. Without mistakes the learning process is impossible. A mistake on a sport bike can be fatal.

3. “But I Will be Safe, Responsible, and Level-Headed While Learning".
Skill comes ONLY with experience. To gain experience you must ride in real traffic, with real cars, and real dangers. Before that experience is developed, you are best suited with a bike that won’t severely punish you for minor mistakes. Remember a R6 is a full on RACE bike.

If you are looking for approval you are not in the right place.
I really really don't want to sound like a jerk but you did ask and I am giving you my opinion and the opinion of many others who are smarter than me, so take is or leave it, just be careful and smart!!

Look... the fact is that i am a very lazy person... i often need to be pushed to do things... i am only 16 years old right now and will definitely keep researching on this topic... however, i have actually read the articles and now im kinda leaning toward buying a kawasaki ninja 250r ... i hear the handling on that thing is crisp and very manageable... i also hear the hyosung bikes arent bad beginner bikes as well... i actually like it that you are being tough on me and for the matter... that is the only way i learn things in life... i want to thank you and continue actually like a jerk... i like it =D

Hey Ben, I posted in another forum earlier. What about the suzuki gsx 650 f? I wanted to know if you've ever compared it to the sv650. Someone told me that it's carbed, but I read that it's fuel injected. For beginners what do you think of this bike?

I am 6'2'' and 160lbs and 19 yrs old. I have never riden a bike before in my life but its been a dream om minesince i waslittle. im in the us navy right now. and looking for something easy on gas and fun to ride. i mainly want a 600cc bike because the lower class of bikes look like toys. im a very responsible person and dont really give a shit about speed or how i looks. ive been to a few dealers and there is so way in hell im getting a new bike as a begginner ive looked at the 03 gxsr 600 and the 04 triumph daytona 600 these are they the two bikes that felt the most comfortable to me and ive sat on about everything. but never ridin one. i have good morales and respect my family wellenough to not do stupid shit on a bike tokill myself. i want advice on weatther or not im a good candidate for a 600 as a beginner and if those are good bike choices.

Why don't they make this bike anymore? They stopped making them last year. Do you think they will start making them again? They're pretty hard to find used unless they've got around 10,000+ miles on them! They're awesome, enough balls, but not like an R1 or R6.

I am 15 years old. I am 6' 5'' and 160lbs. I have been riding a honda 80 since i was 11. Last year I started riding my uncles suzuki 185. Last month I started riding his yamaha 250. I am very comfortable on all of these. I am currently looking for my first street bike and I was wondering if a yamaha r6s would be good for someone of my size and experience level. If you do decide to reply to this i would appreciate if you send it to my email address. (gfb102692@gmail.com)

Thank you.

i started on a cbr 600 and i did fine.
the main reason squids wreck is because of hittin the front brakes to hard and washing out out being to scared to lean into turns and goin off into a wall or a field or somthin. just remember inertia is your friend. 600's are the bast bikes to start out on.



The first time I have ever ridden a bike it was a 750cc chopper. I did have a hard time on hills and stalled, but other than that I did good on the strees. Cornering and accelerating. I want to get a 600 rather than the 250 because my friend got a 600 and a month later wants an upgrade. Do you think I have a natural ability to ride bikes or is it that choopers are easier to ride than sportbikes.

"So far we can see that a 600cc or greater motorcycle is not the perfect beginner motorcycle because it is a machine built for the race track.”

I dunno what you are talking about, but I'm 18 and I just got my first bike. As my 46 year old dad has been riding Harley's since he was 16, I of course got a Harley too. My bike is a 2007 1200 XL Sportster Custom, which is a 1200CC bike. This is the first bike I have ever owned, and while I rode on my dad's bikes all my life, I never drove his personally, so this is the first bike I ever even operated. Yet I'm doing fine. I've had it for 5 months, no problems. Also, I live in Queens, NY, and frequently ride into Manhattan, NY, so I have LOTS of unexpected stuff happen all the time like taxis pulling out in front of me, tourists stepping out in front of me, people stopping short all around me, emergency vehicles constantly flying by me, pot holes bigger than your mind could imagine, cars swerving into my lane because someone double parked in their lane, and frequently in Times Square "a child running acrossed the street" to catch up to his tourist parents who also aren't paying attention cause they are taking stupid pictures of something us New Yorkers don't even notice anymore. So I dunno, but you just must be one sh*tty a.ss rider. Dude, I'm a 135 pound 18yr old who never rode before and I ride double your recommended CC level. And the race track bit, dude, just shut up. Nowadays, almost every bike you see on the street is AT LEAST 600CC. Just do everyone a favor and give up both writing and riding.

Nice article. I have a couple questions, though:

I can understand the reasoning behind starting out on a small bike. I can also appreciate the arguments of those who say that as long as you're aware of the risks and respect the machine, you might be ok starting on a bigger bike.

What I'm not understanding is why you say 500CC is OK, but 600 isn't - how much difference in weight, power, and handling is to be had between a 500 and a 600?

For anyone in the throes of the beginner-big bike dilemma let me provide you with some help via a personal anology

I started on a gilera dna 50 - looks good runs fine and with the front box good around town handled well too!
then made a mistake by progressing onto the 125 version (still worked but the handling was awful (with an odd double link on the engine -frame joint causing the bike to actually shorten its wheelbase if you tried to put power on whilst braking and this could affect cornering and braking.

(the above however did teach me to ride well withing the limits of the machine as lack of understanding could easily put you a visor level with the road instantly)

Then onto serious beginners stuff - I passed on a RESTRICTED licence which stopped the idiotic belief the "oh I've passed my test and now I can handle anything!"

As a reward for myself I bought a 125cc gilera SP01 (no not the scooter but the 35 hp 2 stroke road legal racer) from which I learned proper gear control and timing (amid many fumbles and stalls (try leaving the line in 3rd gear) and while the machine had the power it required some force to open the throttle fully (the spring tension on the 32mm carb gate went beyond belief thus you had to have patience and care when reaching for the extra va va voom)

Why the Sp01 , for starters it actually had a decent width of tyre on the front! (BEGINNERS NOTE THIS!!!) some new machines, notably the honda cbr 125 and yamaha fzr125 have a lamentably small cross section on the front tyres (smaller contact with the road) and brakes that are smaller than those on my original DNA 50 , the result is less tolerance for braking and beginners mishaps (my friend bought a cbr 125 and I could out brake that machine by a considerable distance)

I now ride a baby gsxr 250 (45 hp) (top revs:18000 rpm) (1987) with twin front brakes and a wind up and scream engine which is very forgiving on power whilst maintaining a solid and reliable handling pattern. so I can continue to learn

My next machine will be a 600cc tourer or a 400 cc sports tourer

So in summation


p.s. The ride in all weathers will save you from getting caught out if the weather turns and you don't understand how things change in the wet / icy /foggy.

Not to kick a dead horse, but a major problem with finding advice on which bike to purchase is that there aren't other people out there with exactly the same mindset as you. Different people ridden different bikes for different reasons and have different experiences based from their own viewpoints. The sport of motorcycling is inherently dangerous, we all know that. There are higher risks associated with riding a motorcycle, but there are in riding any automobile. Motorcycling is about responsibility and maturity. Just because someone spent 5 years on a 250cc bike doesn't mean that they are prepared to ride a 600cc or a 1000cc bike, and the opposite can be true as well- just because you're new to motorcycling doesn't mean that you can't handle a superbike either. In order to truly get wise advice on that new bike purchase, you need to have an honest heart to heart with yourself. Can you handle that 600cc bike? the 1000cc one? Should you stick to the smaller bikes? Nobody knows you like you do. You know if buying that 600cc bike given your skills and what you want to do on it is a wise one.

I would recommend this to everyone here: ride because you love it. The only person you should ever ride to impress is yourself. If you get that 600 or 1000cc bike that demands a high level of devotion, then make sure that you can attend that advanced motorcycle course every other year. Make sure that you take good care of it and inspect it every time you ride. Make sure you wear the gear that you would want to have on in a crash every time- because it might be your turn today. Study up on techniques. Practice in empty parking lots. Make friends who share your passion and learn from their experiences. Enjoy it.

I think a new rider can jump onto a larger engine bike and be OK. Given that the new rider is aware and responsible enough not to do 120 on the highway etc. After my MSF course I found a '94 CBR 900 for cheaper than any of the 250s so I picked it up, and I have never had any problems with it being to powerful or to heavy. On the second weekend I had it I took it up into the twisties (a perk of living in Colorado, mountains are everywhere), and I had no issues except a new-found addiction to mountain driving. I think it helped that as a college student I have ridden my mountain bike to work and class everyday for 4 years. I think that it all depends on the new riders level of confidence and comfort on the road.

I've noticed that a lot of articles here fail to address the differences between a 250 sport and a 250 cruiser.

Honda Rebel 250 Kawasaki Ninja 250 Honda Shadow 600
17.5 hp@ 8250 rpm 36 hp @1100 rpm 40 hp
Top speed: 75 mph 110 mph 100 mph

Just looking at the power, a Kawasaki Ninja 250 has roughly the same power as a Honda Shadow 600. You're 250 sports bikes and 250 cruisers aren't the same beasts. A 250 sports bike is about the same as a 600 cruiser.

Just remember that 600 sports are race-ready, and 600 cruisers were designed for "women riders" to be low, and easy to handle. BIG DIFFERENCE!

Does the engine size matter based on your age? I heard that if your 16 or 17 you cant have a bike with a big engine is that true?

Unless there is a law that states that in your area.... no. Generally smaller CC's are recommended for starters for the predictability and limited performance (torque, hp, top speed) capabilities. Some areas have a graduated system for motorcyclists some don't. As always check the laws in your area.
If no graduated system..... do a real gut check on your maturity and mentality of why you want to ride, your experience and your wallet. Being honest about yourself and your skills, or lack there of, can potential save your life and someone elses.

****Life's journey is not to arrive at the grave safely in a well preserved body, but, rather to skid in sideways, totally worn out, shouting "Holy Shit....What a ride!!!"****

I started out on a 250 ninja... let me tell you the I will never buy another ninja. If someone WANTS to start off on a beginner bike then a 500 and not a ninja. That is the worst bike I have ever own. Not to mention after a few months I got bored with it. They are so touchy... If you look at it wrong it breaks down. I spent more time getting it fixed then actually riding it and this is coming from a female. The ninja does not go up to 110mph ... 70 or 80 tops.

Funny that your opinion differs from every single notable motorcycle publication's review of the 250R. I wonder why that might be?

A Ninja 250 on the road will beat a 'Busa in a ditch any day of the week.

I bought my first bike about 2 months ago. its an 06 gs500f and i've got to agree from the dirtbike riding i've done before that its completely different on the streets. i tried explaining that to my friends so whats the first thing one of them does? Goes out and buys a cbr900rr. im just waiting to see how this ends up

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